"How many times have I told you to eat at the dining room table?" Are you eating in the armchair in front of the TV again? ” During that time or half an hour later, dad sits in an armchair and eats a sandwich while watching the game.
This example clearly illustrates that a child will not do what his parents tell him, but what his parents DO. In other words, it simply means that the example you give them is the one they will learn from.
There is a scientific explanation for this and it is called the theory of mirror neurons, which are activated from the birth of a child and enable babies to imitate the movements of adults and learn.
What, then, should you do?
This is one of the most difficult tasks for parents. The children do not want to go to bed at the time they are told, they always miss those five more minutes.Then, five more, and so on..
When it comes to sleeping, the general atmosphere in the house is very important. At the time when the children need to go to bed, and even a little before that, you have to adjust the whole environment. Turn down the lights as much as possible, turn off or completely mute the devices, try to do it every night at the same time.
When they grow up and come into teen age, establish common rules. For example, no one should be out of the house after 9 pm, unless it is a matter of work or obligations. However, if you are often away from home at that time, expect the child to resist as well. It will ask you to trust him and treat him like an adult. You try to follow this rule yourself. So it will rarely happen that you have quarrels and discussions with your child on this topic.
The same thing is with cigarettes, alcohol or fizzy drinks. I attended a scene in a cafe where a waiter approached a table where a mother and a 7-year-old child were sitting. The waiter asked what they wanted, to which the child replied "Coca-Cola". Mom then gave a short, patient lecture on how harmful and full of sugar this drink is. The child reluctantly accepted the explanation and ordered fruit juice. The waiter turned to his mother and asked what she wanted. "Coca-Cola for me."
That is not upbringing. That is hypocrisy.
When you want to pass on certain values to your children, the only possible way to do that is by example. Never tell them "I'm wrong, but I'm already in some years, it's too late for me to change now, so you learn from my mistakes." These are the lessons of lazy parents. Those who don't care enough to change themselves because of the children. And these are lessons that are not worth it.
So, if you want to teach them to respect their parents, start by respecting your parents, but also your children. Respect is a mutual feeling. If you want to teach them that school comes first, don't take them to the sea in September, because it's so convenient for you. If you want to teach them to respect people regardless of their social or material status, persuade staff at school and the teacher equally.
I challenge you to be an example to your children. Replace criticism, objections and labels with honesty and example. Can you do that?